UK - The Theatres Trust reports that five small theatres in London will benefit from the first round of its new London Theatres Small Grants Scheme, made possible through a donation from the Mackintosh Foundation.

The five successful projects are:

Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) in Wandsworth is awarded £5,000 to replace their temporary wheelchair ramp leading to the café / bar and first floor performance space with a new permanent ramp. This improves access to BAC and contributes to the major Haworth Tompkins-led BAC capital redevelopment and restoration project.

Bush Theatre in Hammersmith & Fulham is awarded £5,000 to repair the pitched roofs and dormer windows of their former Old Library building. These repairs help to maintain the condition of this locally listed theatre's fa├žade.

The Cockpit in Camden is awarded £5,000 to repair their leaky flat roof which sits over the theatre's dressing rooms. This improves backstage conditions for performers and theatre staff and keeps costumes and equipment safe.

New Diorama Theatre in Camden is awarded £5,000 to install a converted storage container in their back yard to provide much needed space for their outreach programme and an accessible office space.

SPID Theatre in Kensington and Chelsea is awarded £5,000 to carry out urgent works to replace doors, and install disabled ramps and double glazing windows in their Grade II* building.

Cameron Mackintosh said, "It's an honour for the Mackintosh Foundation to be the first donor to the London Small Theatres Grants Scheme and provide capital funding to help these theatres. Working with the Theatres Trust and the Mayor of London we're making a start in helping to solve the urgent capital needs of London's smaller theatres. This is so important for the next generation of artists and audiences and the continuing success of London's theatre scene."

Mayor of London Boris Johnson commented, "London's smaller theatres are vital to its pre-eminence as a cultural capital on the world stage. Dotted throughout our city they entertain Londoners and bring in visitors, contributing to the local economy. In addition, they are a fertile seedbed for the vibrant talent and creativity that also feeds into the major houses, as well as film and television. These awards will help ensure some of our key players can get on with their core business, which is exciting work for the public to enjoy."

Tim Eyles, Theatres Trust chair said, "London's small theatres face so many challenges raising capital funding for repairs and upgrades, so I'm delighted that we've been able to announce these awards today. We need to see more capital investment going into fringe theatres if we are to ensure theatre makers have a home in the city to make and present their work. I want to say a big thank you to Sir Cameron Mackintosh and the Mackintosh Foundation for their incredible support in making these first grants."

(Jim Evans)

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